‘Serum of Satan, One drop… and a raging monster is unleashed to kill… and kill again in an unending lust for blood!
Voodoo Heartbeat is a 1972 American horror film written and directed by Belgian ex-pat Charles Nizet (The Ravager; Help Me… I’m Possessed). It was re-released as The Sex Serum of Doctor Blake. It stars Ray Molina, Philip Ahn and Ern Dugo.
Cast member Mike Zapata was allegedly a descendent of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. In an issue of Boxoffice Magazine dated May 15, 1972, Robert Saxton, president of TWI International, the film’s distributor, is quoted to say “Mike Zapata will be one of the top stars of the motion picture and television mediums during the next few years, as he has all the attributes of a James Cagney. The response was so great, says Saxton, that he already has entered into negotiations with Ray Molina Productions to make a sequel entitled Doctor Blake’s Revenge.”
Upon discovering the United States is in possession of a youth serum, Red China kidnaps a group of American scientists in hopes Mao Zedong can stay in power for as long as possible. To keep the drug out of Communist hands, a rogue American scientist named Doctor Blake injects himself with the formula.
Unfortunately, the serum metabolises faster than Doctor Blake’s body can process it, creating within him an insatiable thirst for blood. Police track the now monstrous scientist, culminating in an explosive speedboat chase which ends up with Blake dead and his body withered to a mummified husk. [courtesy of io9.com]
” … a fairly well-made exploitation picture that could appeal to both the horror fans as well as “cult enthusiasts.” Torture scenes are fairly realistic and depict the butchering of arms, ears and what have you. Ray Molina’s starring role as the doctor turned madman is handled well. Molina also produced the picture. For nudity there is a brief ritual scene shot in semi-darkness, but quite unrevealing.” Boxoffice Magazine
“In this truly awful vampire picture, spies search for a serum with which to achieve eternal youth. Instead of making them young, however, it transforms them into bloodsucking deviates. The film was shot in Las Vegas with an inordinate number of bikini-clad girls performing voodoo rituals. You won’t find a more ridiculous vampire than the middle-aged Molina, sideburns and all, who dresses conservatively in his bloodstained suit and tie. Too weird for words.” TV Guide
“Charles Nizet’s script lacks logic, is heavy on clichés and features a cast of non-heartthrobs.” John Stanley, Creature Features
Las Vegas Nevada